Harrisburg – Representative Toepel and I have been contacted by numerous constituents regarding the Gibraltar Rock Quarry Permit renewal in New Hanover Township. Constituent concerns, coupled with our own, warranted a letter to our Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Our first letter to DEP Central office in Harrisburg, requested a suspension on the Gibraltar Quarry renewal application until Township and constituent concerns could be reviewed and properly addressed. We felt that the gravity of the situation warranted a physical meeting between the constituents and the entities involved with the process.
Despite our calls for help and clarity, DEP Central informed us that the meeting we requested was not a part of the permit process and they would not be meeting with constituents since it did not meet their current “mission critical” threshold; and they are obligated to adhere to the current travel ban issued by the Governor.
We immediately responded to Harrisburg DEP and insisted that this meeting was a matter of critical public safety. Our offices demonstrated these concerns through our own message and by sharing copies of correspondence between the Township, Board of Supervisors and constituents. We also emphasized that the permit should NOT be issued until the meeting we requested was held.
Our last requests for this imperative meeting have gone unanswered from Harrisburg. Despite DEP’s unwillingness to grant our request, we will continue to advocate for our constituents and have this matter properly addressed.